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Gay Papers Staff Quits Over Nonpayment

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Most members of the Chicago Free Press's editorial staff left the weekly gay newspaper Monday because they haven't been paid, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Editor Matt Simonette told the Tribune he left along with the graphic designer, art director, and most of the writers. He said staff members had not received paychecks that were due December 15, and editorial contributors had not been paid since mid November.

"The senior staff did not resign; it was just simply a matter of leaving because of nonpayment," he said.

Publisher David Costanzo acknowledged checks had been delayed. "The last two to three payrolls, we've been having issues from a cash-flow standpoint," he said. "Over the last two payrolls, we had to delay some paychecks."

He had to choose between laying people off and asking them to wait for their checks, he told the Tribune Tuesday, adding that he planned to write the December 15 paychecks that evening.

Costanzo said he would replace the departed employees and that this week's issue would come out on time Thursday.

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